There’s a name now for jerks on bike trails

A few months ago — six, if you’re actually keeping score — I wrote about some of the reasons I avoid Minneapolis bike trails in this post. In the admittedly few times I bother, the self-policing caste system I’ve found there is much more loathsome than the civilized atmosphere I find in the dastardly suburbs (although I’m partial to the courtesy found on the Cannon Valley Trail).

The response was not exactly what I expected. The cycling community’s various parts can be mighty defensive when challenged.

That’s why this week’s City Pages post on Pathletes resonates so.

In it, reporter Cory Zurowski declares “pathletes” — cyclists who blow by everyone else, often verbally declaring their ownership of a trail — now constitute a “scourge” on the Minneapolis bike scene.

Former pro and Minnesota cycling icon Gene Oberpriller, co-owner of One on One bike shop on Washington Avenue, has no love for pathletes.

“It’ll be a Sunday afternoon and families are out and here these guys are riding as fast as they can like the place is theirs,” he says. “If they think they’re so hardcore, they should be riding on the street.”

Long known for being a ridiculously fast rider, Ben “S.K.” Davies considers pathletes to be a menace in a category all alone. “These triathletes, or whatever they are, are going down the Greenway as hard as possible, never mind there are commuters and whoever else is riding. I mean, they fly by without regard for anyone else. It’s not cool.”

City Pages attempted to interview cyclists on the Cedar Lake Trail yesterday who looked to match the profile. They flew by.

I’d have paid good money to see video of that, but I digress.

Maybe it wouldn’t kill you just once, “pathletes” to take a lesson from the — ducking here — ‘burbs.